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hi, and thanks for your comment. i was wondering what exaclly a nerve root block is and why i hadn't been told about it. does this last? or is it a temporary soloution for pain? i've had a disc removed an now waiting (in what seems like forever) to have another removed. i've been told that i'll most definately have arthritis in the future and my back as weak as it is will be weaker after my next surgery. i've been told i'll have great difficulty in future when carrying children as my back simply wont be able to carry the weight, so u'd think they'd b offering me alternatives other than surgery. unless that really is my only option. i'd like to explore other alternatives rather than have surgery, but haven't been told whats out there. so any more info on the nerve root block would be great.

thanks kimberey

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  • Posted

    Hi Kimberly,

    I've found this info on a site for you, hope this helps. I think the waiting is the worst part of it. I've spoke to my Consultants Secretary she told me I should be having my 2nd of in January (I won't hold my breath)! Unfortunately the Nerve Root Block didn't help me at all, but you might be lucky.

    [b:30b5feefba]Nerve Root Block[/b:30b5feefba]

    A nerve root block is an injection into the sheath surrounding a nerve root in the spine to decrease your pain temporarily and to define it more precisely. The exam uses therapeutic steroid and local anesthetic (numbing medication) to decrease pain and inflammation. Pain relief from the procedure varies from minimal to long-term, depending on the specific symptoms.

    You must have symptoms present for this procedure to be effective. If you are not experiencing symptoms prior to your procedure, please cancel your appointment and reschedule the exam once your symptoms have returned.

    You will need a driver for your appointment. If you are unable to drive or arrange transportation, call us for assistance.

    [b:30b5feefba]During the procedure – what to expect[/b:30b5feefba]

    You will remain awake throughout the procedure.

    A radiologist will use a thin needle to place anesthetic and steroid (anti-inflammatory medication) into the nerve sheath. (There may be some discomfort from the needle, but, for most people, this is minor.)

    The radiologist checks the needle position using x-ray-guidance (fluoroscopy).

    Contrast material is placed into the nerve sheath to document the needle position and x-rays are taken.

    During the injection, you may feel pressure or pain. The radiologist will want to know how this discomfort compares to your usual pain symptoms.

    [b:30b5feefba]After the procedure – what to expect[/b:30b5feefba]

    Initially, you may experience numbness and/or relief from your symptoms for up to six hours after the injection.

    When the anesthetic wears off, your usual symptoms may return. The steroids usually require 2-3 days to provide pain relief.

    If there is no change in your pain symptoms after a week, your doctor may want to investigate other possible sources for your pain.

    [b:30b5feefba]Possible side effects[/b:30b5feefba]

    Steroid medications may cause facial flushing, occasional low-grade fevers, hiccups, insomnia, headaches, water retention, increased appetite, increased heart rate, and abdominal cramping or bloating.

    These side effects occur in only about 5% of patients and commonly disappear within 1-3 days after the injection.

    Bye for now, take it easy.


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  • Posted

    Hi Kimberley,

    I was just wondering if the options your doctors have are limited because of your may be that some of the medications & procedures are not licenced to be carried out on someone of such tender years...just a thought tho....hope you're ok and bearing up.

    Take care,

    Jules xx :D :D

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  • Posted

    Hi Kimberly,

    I'm not sure about the age thing I'm 40, you'd have to ask about that one.

    I'm ok I suppose you have to keep going don't you. I'll be so relieved once my ops out of the way and hopefully pain free again. I've been in pain for almost a year now so it's hard to remember what it was like to be pain free.

    Keep on at your Doctor and the Hospital eventually they'll get sick of you and might do something about you pain (I hope so).

    Take Care


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  • Posted

    thanks for ur comments. angela, i found the info about the nerve root block interesting, when i see my consultant im going to ask loads more bout it and if if it wud be benifical for me, thats if i get this bloody letter for an appointment any time soon!! its taking forever.

    crazydaisy, i cant really ask questions till i see my consultant, but u make a gud point about my options may be limited cause of my age, so will definately be asking him, if and whenever i see him.

    will keep posted as to what happens and what he says after my appointment, probably be a while yet though. thanks again. kimberley.

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  • Posted

    Hi kimberley,

    Just to put my bit to it here, I had two nerve root injections before I managed to have an op months later, they are not a cure they are just for pain relief, the first one lasted about six months, the second about two weeks, the one thing I do know though is there are many many pages on the net about them and all with something different, my own experience is it sounds worse than it is, they numb your back, do a ct guided injection, which u do not feel, u then stand up and go home..... The first one I had pins and needles soon after in my foot, that was it, the second time I found it hard to sit down for a couple of hours ( no idea why, they inject in your back )...bottom line is if they do allow u to have them they are worth it, u must understand though it is temporary relief 99.9% of the time.

    Hope it helps :-)


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